I really enjoyed "Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda." Even though it was short, Albertalli did a great job of making all of the characters in this story feel like three dimensional characters. The only reason why I didn't give this story five stars is that Simon's love interest is of a race that often treats gay men terrible. I don't know how realistic it was that everything ended up with hearts, kittens, etc. since this story also takes place in Georgia. I am not going to complain though since it was nice to just read a LGBT story with a happy ending.
"Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda" is about 16 year old Simon Spier. Simon is gay, but hasn't come out to his family or closest friends. When he forgets to log out of his email account one day at the school computers, a guy from his school (Martin Addison) finds out his secret. Martin blackmails Simon into helping him get with Abby Suso who is close to Simon's friend group. Things go awry and Simon is afraid that his email relationship with the guy he calls "Blue" could end.
Simon was wonderful. I really enjoyed this character. I sometimes have trouble with Young Adult books since the teens portrayed are often whiny or just jerks. Simon was a really good kid who is scared that coming out to his family and friends will change things and cause them to turn away from him. His long standing friendship with his best friends Nick and Leah is going through some upheaval since Nick has a crush on Abby Suso and Leah is jealous of their tight threesome breaking up.
Simon's parents were hippies on overload. They love Simon and his two sisters. They do fun family activities.
Simon and Blue's email exchanges are sweet and also full of longing. I can't imagine trying to hide who you are from your family and friends. They both give each other advice and are there for each other.
I loved the other characters we see in this book, NIck, Leah, Abby, Blue, Simon's two sisters. Albertalli does a good job of having them in the story and providing enough details that they feel real.
I would say that the character of Martin Addison is going to make you grind your teeth. He is garbage and I hated how I still don't think this character thinks he did anything wrong. You eventually have things coming to a head, but I hated how it was resolved.
Albertalli does a good job of showing how far people still need to go without bullying people who are different from them too. I loved the teachers in this one, for once we didn't have a Young Adult book where I wondered if all of the adults were terrible.
The writing was really good and the flow as okay too. I think the only thing I really didn't care for was when Albertalli went into the whole trope of Simon having a crush on everyone thinking they can secretly be Blue. It was beyond annoying after a while.
“I actually think people would be cool about it,” Martin says. “You should be who you are.” I don’t even know where to begin with that. Some straight kid who barely knows me, advising me on coming out. I kind of have to roll my eyes."
Yeah my thoughts too.
"I take a sip of my beer, and it’s—I mean, it’s just astonishingly disgusting. I don’t think I was expecting it to taste like ice cream, but holy fucking hell. People lie and get fake IDs and sneak into bars, and for this? I honestly think I’d rather make out with Bieber. The dog. Or Justin."
I just laughed.
“Good-bye, cute Simon,” says Peter, hugging me, and then kissing me on the forehead. “Go be seventeen.”
That was so sweet.
The setting of Georgia seems a bit removed from a Georgia that I know of. It seems like most of the students at the school Simon goes to are white. And though Albertalli shows some incidents of kids bullying Simon, I have to wonder about what happened with Simon's love interest. Everything tied up way too neatly.
The ending was very sweet and hopeful.